San Rafael Mine Tries to Resume Operations

Amid blockades by local residents, the company that operates the Escobal mine in Guatemala is trying to normalize its activities, after having obtained a legal guarantee to do so.

Friday, September 29, 2017

After the Supreme Court of Justice overturned an injunction filed by an environmental group against Minera San Rafael, representatives from the company say that they are trying to resume operations, but the constant blockades and demonstrations of neighbors in the area is preventing activities from returning to normal.

See also: "Export of Metalliferous Minerals in Central America"

Andrés Dávila, communications manager at Minera San Rafael, told that "... plans had been made to bring in supplies, such as fuel, cement and construction material, in 15 trucks, but residents from Casillas prevented them from passing through. He said that up to the afternoon of (26 September) authorities still had not come to the site, but they are hoping for respect for labor rights and freedom of movement."

"... For his part, the legal advisor from the Center for Legal, Environmental and Social Action (Calas) of Guatemala, Rafael Maldonado, announced that they will file more legal actions, such as a criminal complaint for attempted illegal exploitation of natural resources and disobedience. He added that they will sue managers and Tahoe Resources for giving the order to restart operations.  According to Maldonado, the action will be brought against executives Ron Clayton and Kevin McArthur. He also explained that the CSJ's resolution allows the mine to operate as soon as the sentence is final, but it still has several appeals against it. "

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More on this topic

Situation Worsens at San Rafael Mine

January 2018

After seven months of suspended operations, the company that operates the Escobal mine in Guatemala has announced that it is making 250 workers redundant.

The company interrupted its activities after the Supreme Court of Justice granted an injunction to the Legal, Environmental and Social Action Center (Calas), in July 2017, after denouncing that the Ministry of Energy and Mines had not carried out prior community consultations..

Another Mining Company Suspended in Guatemala

July 2017

Minera San Rafael will have to cease operations after its two operating licenses were suspended as a result of a writ of protection granted by the Supreme Court of Justice to an environmental group. reports that "... The licenses for El Escobal, approved in 2013, and Juan Bosco, in 2012, are suspended and as a consequence, the San Rafael mine must stop its operations. The extraction plants whose licenses are now invalid are located in Mataquescuintla, Jalapa, and Nueva Santa Rosa, Casillas, and San Rafael Las Flores, Santa Rosa."

Mining Operation in Guatemala Suspended

November 2015

The Constitutional Court cited damages to the environment and illegality in the process of granting the concession of the Sechol mine in Alta Verapaz, owned by Mayaniquel SA.

From an article on

The Constitutional Court (CC) ruled in favor of the Environmental and Social Legal Action Center in Guatemala (CALAS) and ordered Mayaníquel SA to suspend the Sechol mining project, between the towns of Senahú and Panzós, Alta Verapaz.

Mining Companies Concerns in Guatemala

December 2012

Mining businesses are concerned about communities who are resistance to mining activities, delays in the approval of permits and amendments to the Mining Act.

Next on the list of concerns for the sector, is the evolution of the global crisis, which investments in the extractive industry are dependent on.

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